Jethro Tull – Live – Bursting Out: The Inflated Edition (Review)

Review of Jethro Tull – Live – Bursting Out: The Inflated Edition

by Geoff Bailie

In the world of prog, reissues are big business it would seem! It’s fair to say that in a genre where fans will obsess over the production as well as the music and lyrics, progression in technology, mixing and presentation has fed fans who are hungry to get a better edition of the music they love. And there have been a variety of approaches – Pink Floyd, for example, seem content to keep giving us another version of Dark Side of the Moon which isn’t much different from the last one. On the other extreme, you have the King Crimson reissues, whose first wave of box sets aimed to gather just about every listenable live recording from the band’s various eras, while wave 2 appears to be providing every available minute of studio recording in incredible fidelity.

Sitting somewhere in middle, and massively acclaimed by both the hardcore and the more casual fan, has been the Jethro Tull series. Many of the studio album sets have emerged with fantastic Steven Wilson remixes of album and related material across several CDs, with surround mixes on DVD often accompanied by tasty contemporary video extras. They are housed in fantastic book sized packages which house copious text and illustrations, with enormous input from Ian Anderson, giving them the official seal of approval, but with sufficient honesty, humour and perspective. And next up in the series is the live album from the 1978 tour, Live – Bursting Out – The Inflated Edition.

Recorded across Europe, the band are touring their Heavy Horses album with a line up featuring long term members Martin Barre (guitars), John Evan (keys and permanent mile wide grin!), Barriemore Barlow (drums), plus Dee Palmer (long associated with the band but a recent “proper” member on keys) and relative newcomer John Glascock (bass). The main album (covered on CDs 1 and 2) is supplemented by a smattering of sound check recordings which are nice additions… but personal preference would have been to have them bundled at the end, rather than at the end of each CD (minor gripe!).

The majority of the tracks were recorded at shows in Germany with a few coming from Switzerland gigs, where the band was able to use a 24 track desk. When you consider this is 1978, and a band that uses acoustic instruments such as flutes, acoustic guitars and mandolins, as well as a plethora of keyboards which didn’t translate so easily to the live arena as they do today, these recordings sound amazing! The musicianship and musicality of the players jumps out of the speakers and I feel I must give a particular shout out to Barriemore Barlow and Martin Barre. The Prog Report’s ‘Prog Nick’ has often mentioned Barlow as one of the less recognised prog drummers, and you only need this recording as proof of his talents. Like all of the players on stage he effortlessly shifts in styles but significantly in these live recordings brings a power and drive that sometimes doesn’t quite get captured in the studio.

Barre doesn’t really fit your guitar hero image when you see him on stage… looking somewhat older than his years, but check out his intro to Locomotive Breath on CD 2 to appreciate this is a major guitar talent. While someone like Steve Howe has a very hybrid guitar style, Barre’s solid rock and blues approach brings a bite and power to the performances that is breath taking. He’s not a whammy bar or massive effects user, so it’s all coming from his finger tips and technique!

With 11 albums, as well as a variety of non-album material to access, the set kicks off with No Lullaby from Heavy Horses before leaping back to the 1969 single Sweet Dream, one of Barre’s early recordings with the band, here given a reinvented new arrangement. Newer tracks like One Brown Mouse, Songs from the Wood and Too Old To Rock ‘n’ Roll sit alongside A New Day Yesterday, Aqualung and Thick As A Brick (in an abbreviated medley format that works well but at which some may scream sacrilege). The latter is a good example of how the band don’t just slavishly replicate the album versions, and within the structures there is room for improvisation and, well, some fun too (check out the live footage on the DVD to see how much laughter and hijinx the band convey on stage)! It all sounds incredibly alive and fresh, with a superb remix – it’s known some studio “help” was given to the album, but the new mix brings even more clarity to, in particular, the power of the rhythm section! As a sampler, check out the version of Minstrel In The Gallery – the track begins with Anderson and acoustic guitar before breaking into the faster second half. As this sections starts you can hear the separate parts the keyboard players are adding, the brilliance of Barlow’s drumming, plus Barre’s stinging guitar. It’s a superb combination.

A few months after these recordings the band ended up at Madison Square Gardens in a show that was planned to be beamed around the world by satellite to, it was said, a potential audience of 400 million people (but which it appears really only ended up being shown live in the UK). CD3 is the audio recording of that show, also remixed by Steven Wilson. The set is shorter and rejigged in order, with the addition of My God to the Europe set, but the performances are equally exceptional. What has changed is that John Glascock is replaced by Tony Williams on bass due to illness. Not only do we have great , and remixed, audio but the DVDs also gives us 50 minutes of the live video from the show with the refreshed audio added. Enormous credit must be given to Mr Anderson – listening to the audio and the vocal, guitar and flute performances that come across, it’s incredible when you see how energetic and physical Anderson’s stage performance is! I get the impression that these tapes are unadulterated by studio fixes, and so in places the vocals don’t have the double tracking that’s present in some places in the main album, and they’re the better for it. The other things to note is how crazy the audience of going for this band… a far cry from a seated prog reflective audience – and hyped up by Anderson, who would help it.

With close to 4 hours of music, across 3 CDs there’s much to listen to. And for those who want to explore further, the 3 DVDs have all of the music in 96/24 stereo and 5.1 plus flat transfers of the original album also in 96/24. The Madison Square DVD has all the audio plus 50 minutes of video. And while listening you have a 96 page booklet to digest! This is another worthy edition to this series and definitely one to add to the collection.

 

Tracklisting
CD 1
Claude Nobs – Introduction by Claude Nobs (Live) [2024 Remaster]
No Lullaby (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Sweet Dream (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of the New Day) [Live] [2024 Remaster]
Jack-in-the-Green (Live) [2024 Remaster]
One Brown Mouse (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Heavy Horses (Live) [2024 Remaster]
A New Day Yesterday (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Flute Solo Improvisation / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Bouree (Medley) [Live] [2024 Remaster]
Living in the Past (Live)
Songs from the Wood (Live) [2024 Remaster]
No Lullaby (Live)
Sweet Dream (Live)
Heavy Horses (Live)
Botanic Man (Live)
4.W.D (Low Ratio) [Live]

CD 2
Thick As a Brick (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Hunting Girl (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die! (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Conundrum (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Minstrel In The Gallery (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Cross-Eyed Mary (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Quatrain (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Aqualung (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Locomotive Breath (Live) [2024 Remaster]
The Dambusters March (Live) [2024 Remaster]
Conundrum (Live)
Quatrain (Live)
The Dambusters March (Live)

CD 3
Sweet Dream Fanfare (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
Sweet Dream (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
One Brown Mouse (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
Heavy Horses (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
Thick As a Brick (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
No Lullaby (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
Flute Solo Improvisation (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
Songs From the Wood (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
Quatrain (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
Aqualung (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
Locomotive Breath (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
The Dambusters March (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
A Single Man (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Old to Die! (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
My God (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)
Cross-Eyed Mary (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978)

DVD 1
Claude Nobs – Introduction by Claude Nobs (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
No Lullaby (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Sweet Dream (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of the New Day) [Live] [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Jack-in-the-Green (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
One Brown Mouse (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Heavy Horses (Live) [96/24 Stereo]
A New Day Yesterday (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Flute Solo Improvisation / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Bourée (Medley) [Live] [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Living in the Past (Live) [96/24 Stereo]
Songs from the Wood (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
No lullaby (Live) [96/24 Stereo]
Sweet Dream (Live) [96/24 Stereo]
Heavy Horses (Live) [96/24 Stereo]
Botanic Man (Live) [96/24 Stereo]
4.W.D (Low Ratio) [Live] [96/24 Stereo]
Claude Nobs – Introduction by Claude Nobs (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
No Lullaby (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Sweet Dream (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of the New Day) [Live] [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Jack-in-the-Green (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
One Brown Mouse (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Heavy Horses (Live) [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
A New Day Yesterday (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Flute Solo Improvisation / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Bourée (Medley) [Live] [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Living in the Past (Live) [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Songs from the Wood (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
No lullaby (Live) [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Sweet Dream (Live) [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Heavy Horses (Live) [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Botanic Man (Live) [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
4.W.D (Low Ratio) [Live] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
No Lullaby (Live) [Flat Transfer]
Sweet Dream (Live) [Flat Transfer]
Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of the New Day) [Live] [Flat Transfer]
Jack-in-the-Green (Live) [Flat Transfer]
One Brown Mouse (Live) [Flat Transfer]
A New Day Yesterday (Live) [Flat Transfer]
Flute Solo Improvisation / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Bourée (Medley) [Live] [Flat Transfer]
Songs from the Wood (Live) [Flat Transfer]
Thick As A Brick (Live) [Flat Transfer]

DVD 2
Thick As A Brick (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Hunting Girl (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Too Old To Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young To Die! (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Conundrum (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Minstrel In The Gallery (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Cross-Eyed Mary (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Quatrain (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Aqualung (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Locomotive Breath (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
The Dambusters March (Live) [2024 Remaster] [96/24 Stereo]
Conundrum (Live) [96/24 Stereo
Quatrain (Live) [96/24 Stereo]
The Dambusters March (Live) [96/24 Stereo]
Thick As A Brick (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Hunting Girl (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Too Old To Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young To Die! (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Conundrum (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Minstrel In The Gallery (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Cross-Eyed Mary (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Quatrain (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Aqualung (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Locomotive Breath (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
The Dambusters March (Live) [2024 Remaster] [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Conundrum (Live) [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Quatrain (Live) [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
The Dambusters March (Live) [DD & DTS 5.1 Surround]
Hunting Girl (Live) [Flat Transfer]
Too Old To Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young To Die! (Live) [Flat Transfer]
Conundrum (Live) [Flat Transfer]
Minstrel In The Gallery (Live) [Flat Transfer]
Cross-Eyed Mary (Live) [Flat Transfer]
Quatrain (Live) [Flat Transfer]
Aqualung (Live) [Flat Transfer]
Locomotive Breath (Live) [Flat Transfer]
The Dambusters March (Live) [Flat Transfer]

DVD 3
Sweet Dream Fanfare (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
Sweet Dream (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
One Brown Mouse (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
Heavy Horses (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
Thick As A Brick (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
No Lullaby (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
Songs From The Wood (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
Quatrain (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
Aqualung (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
Locomotive Breath (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
The Dambusters March (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
A Single Man (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
Too Old Too Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Old To Die! (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
My God (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)
Cross-Eyed Mary (Live at Madison Square Garden October 1978) (Music Video)

Add comment

Support The Prog Report

If you like what we do please support us on Ko-fi




Podcast




Subscribe to our email list: